Self Assessment

In my Imagined Worlds group project, I am required to make the model of the robot which is the main asset in our animation. I am also required to texture it, rig it and animate it. I have created some concept art for this model before setting on making the model.  I have managed to make the low poly and high poly models; however, that is as far as I have gotten due to having some issues using the curves tools as well as naming around 66 body parts, parenting parts together and group along with setting a UV map layout for a set group of body parts.

In order to complete my task, first, I must import the low poly model into substance painter so that I can start to back the high poly model onto the low poly. Then I can start texturing the model. Once that is complete, I can apply the texture file to the model in Maya and start to work on rigging the model so that I can start to work on animating it.

In order to complete my work, I need the other assets models from my team mates so that I can get my model to animate around the environment as well as interact with some of the models. I need objects such as the table so I can animate it laying then getting up when the boy is finished making the robot.

Looking at my low poly (left) and high poly (right) models, I think that it has a toy like robot look right. The issue I had with tris has been fixed so there are only quad polygons in the model. I may need to figure out how I am going to animate the eyes since I think that it will be texture animated instead of having a model animate. That will be something that I will have to look into. I think that the main issues that I had making this model has been fixed such as naming the body parts and parenting everything.

I could look into some tutorials to see how I could get textures to animate as well as any substance painter tutorials that may help improve the look of my model.

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Mechanical Bonds

I am working on a group project called Mechanical Bonds. This is part of our Imagine Worlds project. Me and my group are working on a 3D animation showing the relationship of a boy and a robot over a period of a 30 second long animation. I am currently working on modelling, baking, texturing, rigging and animating the robot. At this current point I have made the high and low poly version of the model that I will use for the animation.

Robot low poly shot 1

Robot low poly shot 2This is the low poly version of the robot model. I have applied different materials to different  parts of the body. The UV’s of the sections in one particular colour have been grouped and have the UV map layout together. So the right arm has its own UV map layout to make texturing easier along with the leg and main body having their own UV map layout. I have also parented the body parts together with the main body being the main parent and named each individual section. Around 66 polygons that I had to name individually.

Robot high poly shot 1

Robot high poly shot 2

These are my high poly models of the robot. I have added more detail by extruding some of the faces in and bevelling some of the edges. The quality of my model and research has been reviewed by another person to get their thoughts on my model, areas of improvement as well as my research into making the model.

Peer Review. This is the review that was made.

 

 

Substance Painter practice

Within my current lesson, I have been trying to get to grips with Substance Painter. Substance Painter is used to texture 3D models more easily than other software’s such as Photoshop since both the UV map and the model is shown so you can see how the model looks whilst working on it.

Turtle screenshot

This is the image of how my go at the turtle model currently looks (the model was provided, the texturing I did to get to grips with it). I started off colouring the shell with the polygon fill tool. This tool can be used to fill the entire part of a model (which is useful when wanting a part to just be on colour like a white shirt) or have use UV fill to colour as you may see by the turtle’s shell. you need to create a fill layer for the fill tool to work however.

Layers shot

The fill layer also allows you to add a black mask to the fill tool. A mask makes the colour not appear. There is a slider that affects the visibility of the colour, white means that the colour shows on the model and black resorts the model to its original colour.

The UV fill allows you to fill the UV shell in so to it gives a part of the object the colour that it needs to be filled on the map to the right. Polygon fill allows you the select and fill in polygon faces of the model.

screenshot

You can also change the amount of light reflection on the fill so that they will have a metallic or plastic look with high light roll off to bounce off and make it shiny or  make it look like more cloth with less light reflecting off the object. You can also apply materials on to the object, so you can apply textures to make the object such as the turtle shell have the wood texture to make the shell wood. You can download materials off the internet and import them in to use. You can also apply logos onto the model. There are some logos already available but you can download and install more. The best part is that you can apply the logos to the model itself instead of the UV (which you can still do) which makes applying logos more easier to be precise with.

Substance Painter is a better option for texturing compared to other programs such as Adobe Photoshop simply due to the fact that you can see the model in real time whilst texturing so you can see if the logos are in the right place, if the colouring is correct, how it looks and change it where needed rather easily.

 

 

Low Polygon Models

Over the corresponding weeks, I have been practicing making low poly models for a Wacky Races style race track that my team was tasked with. We had to create a small part of a race track with at least one vehicle featured in it. Each model had to be under 1000 tris (triangle faces). My job was to work on the vehicles. I also worked on the trees for the environment. The environment wasn’t my main job but it was something that I assisted in. I started in making concept art for my vehicle designs before actually getting to work on the models.

Car render

The sports car was inspired by Sonic’s car in the Sonic & All Stars Racing games. I didn’t want it to look basic so I included some patterns to it with headlights acting as eyes. The model consists 474 verts, 1056 edges, 576 faces, 960 tris and 1020 UVs.  I used a fair amount of booleans, extrusions and triangulate/quadrangulate in making may model.

Monobile render

This vehicle was based on the monopoly car. I included the top hat as well a funny little moustache and eye glass on to the car to give it its own personality. I have also included some red and white lines as well as the words ‘Monobile’ on the sides (Unfortunately, I wrote Monobile backwards). This vehicle wasn’t as big as the other car with 398 verts, 855 edges, 470 faces, 778 tris and 918 UV’s.

Tree Render

The final piece of modelling that I worked on was the tree. I made this out of three shapes: two cylinders and a sphere with the amount of faces decreased. The design is rather basic, I mainly just moved the vertex’s out to make it an imperfect shape. I used a ramp shader on the leaves to make a cartoony look to the tree. The model contains 191 verts, 410 edges, 221 faces, 378 tris and 360 UV’s.

 

 

Bump Maps

I will be covering the different types of mapping available when modelling. Bump maps can create detail in the model that is actually fake. It doesn’t add any additional resolution to the model as bump maps are grayscale images that are limited to 8-bits of colour information.  The values in a bump map are used to tell the 3D modelling software up or down. If the values are close to 50% grey then there’s little to no detail that will show through on the surface. Turning the colour closer to white will make the details appear to be pulling out of the surface whereas turning it closer to black will do the opposite and make then appear to be pushing in. Wrinkles and pores are some examples of what bump mapping can be used to create. Bump mapping can be rather easy to create and edit in a 2D application such as Photoshop or Illustrator, however, bump maps can break if the camera views it at the wrong angle due to the detail being fake. The silhouette of the geometry that the bump map is applied to will remain unaffected the map.

Image result for bump mapping

Normal maps can be referred as a better type of bump since it has essentially replaced it. like bump maps, the detail that they create is also fake. However, unlike a bump map, normal maps use RGB information that corresponds directly with the X, Y and Z axis as the information tells the application the exact direction that the surface normals are oriented in for every polygon. The orientation also tells the application how the polygon should be shaded. Normal maps can be rather difficult to create or edit within a 2D application such as Photoshop so a likely option would be to bake a normal map using a higher resolution model.

Image result for normal mapping

Displacement maps are king when it comes to creating additional detail for low-resolution meshes. In order for detail to be created based on a displacement map, the mesh must be subdivided or tessellated  so real geometry is created. Displacement maps can be painted by hand or baked from a high resolution model and it consists of greyscale values like bump maps. 8-bit displacements are available although they aren’t the best option as using 16 or 18-bit will provide a better result since 8-bit displacements may look good in a 2D space but can sometimes cause banding or other artifacts when they are in 3D due to insufficient range in value.

Image result for displacement mapping

Source of information: https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/bump-normal-and-displacement-maps.

 

Ident Animation

Over the weeks, I have been working on my ident animation in Maya. My animation needed to be created within six weeks (class weeks, lessons that weren’t on didn’t count). My animation is complete; however, there was some issues during development. Firstly, I ended up losing my work a couple of times, once due to the location of where it was saved deleted by the college (the X drive was removed and I forgot to make an extra copy). The second and third occasion was due to my files corrupted due to not having enough memory on my G drive. After modelling 3 times, I managed to get the animation to work even the rotations on the boomerang which was annoying to get right since it would rotate 360 degrees one way then rotate the other way and back.

My current ident models looks a lot better than when I first created it as my first attempt since I used images of the actual logos, then made my model around them so that the edges was all lined up and the models looked close to what they are meant to look like. The ‘S’ is a lot smoother around the edges, the ‘H’ is more improved and looks closer to the Batman symbol from the Arkham games with the wings going up a bit. The ‘O’ is more round in the edges and the ‘R’ and ‘T’  are slightly improved but they were already how I wanted them to look. ‘GAMES’ didn’t get much of an improvement since I gave the same design on my last two attempts (didn’t get to the part on my first attempt.

From an animation stand point, I think that it could be improved immensely since it is rather rough as it chugs a bit plus it really doesn’t feel that smooth. The ‘O’ does a 360 degree rotation mostly off screen and doesn’t finish till it just gets on screen. The ‘T’ doesn’t connect with the ‘R’ as I would like. When the Batarang hits the ‘S’ they are both meant to move up to show that the ‘S’ was hit and the ‘H’ is stuck on it. Unfortunately, they both sort of disconnect then reconnect at that point so it looks a bit odd. I also wanted the top half of the ‘S’ to lean forward when moving in to make the sense of the ‘S’ is moving itself in place.

Lighting and rendering

This blog will cover the various different lighting and rendering types that will be used in making games, films, TV shows, etc. Each light type will be available in various other modelling and game engine programs such as Maya and Unity.

The first light type that I will cover is directional light. Directional light is light that goes in a specific direction (obviously) but it works a bit like sunlight. The position of where you place the light icon won’t affect it , the rotation does. Directional light will never fade off and the direction of the light will go all around hence why the position doesn’t matter.

directional-light

Point lights work often like light bulbs, they spread light in various directions unlike the directional light which spreads light in one direction. Another thing that makes them different to directional light is that point lights do fade so the closer an object is to the light source, the brighter the object will be.

point-light

Up next is ambient light. Ambient light is a more secondary light as it casts soft light rays which doesn’t cast any shadows or shading to the object due to not having a specific directionality . It mostly fills in areas that don’t have enough illumination and creates more cartoony  light effects on the object.

ambient-light

Area light works almost exactly like directional light only within a set boundary, a circle or rectangle. It’s often used as a light illuminating a room by shining through a window or florescent ceiling lighting. There can be multiple lighting points in a scene to make it more realistic; however, it does come at a cost as this will take longer to render a scene.

area-light

Spotlights work exactly as you would expect them to. They are also referred  to as flashlights. In terms of modelling, the light can be edited to make the overall size of the light to be larger, . allowing the player to be able to see further around them. The intensity of the light can also be edited so that they can  see further a head of them. Spotlights are also often used in three point lighting. Three point lighting is used to show of aspects of a character or object. The first light is the key light, it is used to show off the important aspects of a character or object and is the main light. It lights up the area that the audience is most likely to see and has the highest intensity. The second light is the fill light, it is used to show off the highlights of any object. The third light is the back light, it lights up the back of an object but not as much as the key light nor the fill light due to having the lowest intensity. It creates a sense of realism as there is light coming from behind that object even though the audience may not see it.

spotlight3-point-lighting

Volume light is rather similar to a point light as they both emit  directional rays from a single point. However; volume lights have a specific shape and size which affects it’s falloff. Volume light can changed into either a cube, sphere, cylinder or cone. If you plan on using a volume light to light up an object then you need to have the light placed close to the object.

Information about light types was found at this link: https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/understanding-different-light-types.

volume-light

Some settings in these light options can be changed. As you may have noticed in three point lighting, that I have mentioned light intensity. Light intensity is basically how bright that you want the light to be. It can be changed in the light settings as well the light colour (rather self explanatory).

Light linking allows you to set a specific light or group of lights to illuminate a specific object or letting a specific object to only be illuminated by a particular light or group of lights.

light-intensitylight-colourslight-linking

Cookies are often used to create an impression that something is there when, in reality, there isn’t. It is often used in movies when they have people in a jungle when there isn’t any trees yet they still make the shadow. They are used for atmosphere and created by putting a mask between the light source and the action. More information on cookies can be found on this link: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/Cookies.html.

cookies

Naturally, light doesn’t generate any shadows in the modeling software’s such as Maya unless you manually turn on the depth map or ray traced shadows option in the light options. They generally produce similar results although depth map takes less time to render and is the more preferable option. Depth map represents the distance from the light to the surface that it is illuminating. Ray traced shadows are more transparent with softer edges to make the shadows seem more realistic as how they would look in the real world. It works better on coloured surfaces as the shadows are often a darker shade of the colour of the surface that shadow is on. Ray tracing is more time consuming and takes more time to render than depth map. Source: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya-lt/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2015/ENU/MayaLT/files/BoL-Depth-map-and-raytraced-shadows-htm.html.

depth-map-vs-ray-traced

Maya software renderer supports all of the entity types that can be found within Maya. Examples of these entity types include: particles, various geometry and paint effects along with fluid effects. Maya software renderer also features a tool called IPR (Interactive Photo Realistic rendering), this tool allows you to make interactive adjustments to the final render of your image. It also allows complex interconnections such as procedural textures and ramps. Source: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Maya/files/GUID-A0ACB70C-2E74-4BAD-AFDD-1D49A8B34EF2-htm.html.

Image converted using ifftoany

Mental ray renderer is general-purpose renderer that generates physically correct simulations of lighting effects which includes ray traced reflections and refractions, caustics, and global illumination.  Source of information: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/3ds-max/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2017/ENU/3DSMax/files/GUID-484B095B-1229-4CB9-BC53-952AC40F67C2-htm.html.

mental-ray-render

Finally, I will be covering the Arnold renderer. Arnold is a ray tracing renderer developed to meet the demands of feature-length animations and visual effects. Arnold was the primary renderer of various movies such as Monster House, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Gravity and Pacific Rim. Source: https://www.solidangle.com/arnold/.

arnold-render